# Radical Openness – Scientific Research

“The more we’re getting into this the more it’s apparent this is a radical new way to scientific research. Traditional research is done in an institution with patent protection. IP protection and patents slows progress because it reduces collaboration and makes it harder to build on the work of others. Our project, we don’t have a central body. It’s the public, they’re the ones who get excited. Because we’re not beholden to shareholders we can create a community.”

via Glowing Plant| Singularity Hub.
I just hope that this project is successful and will create a new way of doing scientific research which will involve common people.

# Caffeine…

Caffeine is the source of new ideas. - Anon (in Fortune)


My day starts with a cup of coffee, and this cup mostly fulfils my daily requirement for caffeine.
Long gone are the days of instant coffee and now I do brew my own.F or this purpose I mostly rely on two of Bombay’s best coffee shops that I know of; namely Philips Coffee and Tea and Mysore Concerns (The Coffee People since 1939).
Both shops I discovered quite accidentally. Philips Tea and Coffee has registered office near Khadi Bhavan on D. N. Road in Fort. Naturally curious I enquired, but there was no sale there, and they guided me to a Sale store down the lane towards Strand Book Shop. There are two varieties of coffee beans available with them the Highlander and Peaberry. Peaberry which I prefer is priced at Rs. 420 a kilo and Highlander is a little low, maybe Rs. 380. The best part is that they grind the beans just in front of you and the aroma that is generated is too good to be described in words. Since I have a “fussy coffee machine” it is not very happy to brew when the powder is too fine, so they grind it as per my requirement, a bit coarse. They have chain of shops throughout Bombay, I mostly take my stock from the Chembur which is close to where I live, but sometimes also from the Fort shop, which is where I visit to hunt for books. They also sell a variety of teas and stock a few magazines many of them Mallu.

The Mysore Concerns shop I discovered quite weirdly. I was on my BEST-bus tours of Bombay some years back, and suddenly near Maheshwari Udyan or King’s Circle I smelt coffee. It was a strong one. And just as the bus passed over it went away. Anyways I was supposed to get down at the stop, as I was on a book hunting mission. I just could not resist myself from finding source of the smell. And the source turned out to be the Mysore Concerns shop, which keeps on grinding coffee beans throughout the day which produces aroma which wanders along the streets. They also sell Coimbatore butter which I have never tried. But this was too good to resist. The price is lower as compared to Philips Rs. 340 per kilo and AFAIK they do not have any variants in the coffee they sell. But going to Matunga all the way to get coffee was not practical many times, but then someone told me that you get it in Chembur too. Although the pack says there is NO BRANCH as opposed to Philips people.
I have collected quite a number of different cups ~ 20 for the morning coffee ritual, and the milk is mostly got from the canteen, I do not as yet like black coffee, I want it with lots of milk (preferably buffalo) and no sugar. Some of the more costly ones are from Chimp and the logo of the brand a Chimp printed on the inside of the cup seems to enjoy surfing the sea of coffee as much as I do.

I had a fortunate visit to a spice garden which belonged to a friend near Bangalore, and I saw there coffee plants ,the green beans and the fragrant white flowers for the first time. They tell me that till you roast the coffee beans you don’t get the aroma of coffee from any other part of the plant.

And remember always: a bad coffee is worse than no coffee…

And interestingly the science behind the coffee rings, though not the above one, is explanied.

# Beautiful BramhaKamal

The flower of the night bramha kamal (ब्रम्ह कमळ) in Marathi also known as Epiphyllum oxypetalum is one of the most beautiful flowers that you will see. Though the time for which it blooms is very short typically a few hours in the night, it makes the most of it. The fragrance of the flower is to be had, there are no word in any language of the world to describe it. We had a plant at our house for quite some time but it did not flower, once it flowered and we did not notice.

But the next time it did, I was all ready with the Canon S2, so here are the shots from circa June 2006.

Did play with a new White LED torch that I had got recently.

Then when I came to HBCSE, I saw a second one of my life, this is circa August 2006. So here are the photos from that episode. Here a white spider was seen sitting on the petals, waiting for its prey, quite good camouflage!

Can you not see the spider above and below?

Just I was getting over this flower, someone told me that Gajanan in the centre has had an amazing bloom of bramha kamal’s at his house, a staggering 8 of them at the same time. Initially I did not believe it. But anyway we went to see it. So it was another amazing sight. So double eye candy for me on the same night.

In 2007 somehow the plant flowered but I missed to take the shots. But in 2008 I did not. The plant at HBCSE had bloomed twice so far this year, and today on 30 bumper bloom again, total 7 of them!! All at our disposal. So here are the shots from this episode.

Since my white LED torch gave up at the very crucial moment, I had to use a yellow light torch. But this resulted in golded epi’s. Which look equally good!!!

No matter how many times you see them, a new flower of bramha kamal will always delight you, no matter how many times you smell it, you will still crave for its smell. So this is the amazing bramha kamal a.k.a. Epiphyllum oxypetalum.

A good links for information on the same:

http://web.missouri.edu/~riceg/epiphyllum/

# Orchids

Orchids have the most beautiful flowers in the world. If you don’t agree with me, just have a look below. Though in the wild I have been able to spot them only twice. I went to a flower show where I could get an actual glimpse of their beauty.

So here they are…
Some [most] classifications are pending, they will be done when Ritesh finds time….

Habenaria grandifloriformis

Habenaria longicaricata

# Summer and Spring Special

With the onset of spring and offset of winter variety of trees bloom their buds. In the spring the trees are just bustling and trying to “show off” what real beauty they have. Grasses, shrubs and giant trees are in a race to outdo each others. Most of them get new lives in the new leaves. After that those who do not bloom in the spring, do it in the heat of summer. In the scorching heat of Indian subcontinent the trees full of colorful bloom do offer some respite.
So here are some of them collected in last few years:
As long as I get shots at these, this post will be updated:
Cassia fistula (अमलतास)

Lagerstroemia reginae (तामण)
Queens Flower Tree

Delonix regia (गुलमोहर)
Flame of The Forest

Plumeria alba (पाढंरा चाफा)
Indian Pagoda Tree

Peltophorum pterocarpum () Copper Pod

Cassia siamea

Tabebuia rosea
Trumpet Tree

Tabebuia argentea
Tree of Gold

Erythrina variegata (पांगारा) Indian Coral Tree

Bombax ceiba (शेवरी) Red Silk Cotton